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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  July 9, 2011

Nothing was Changed

"Although the shrewdest judges of the witches and even the witches themselves were convinced of the guilt of witchery, this guilt nevertheless did not exist. So it is with all guilt."
Night is calm, solitary, and resting. Day illuminates migratory movement, and we mistake the visible for purposeful action when it is usually begrudged compulsory routine. We are always trying to seduce with convincing explanations to wrap what is before us into a simply story, and it is usually grand fraud.

All things begin with nothing. We attempt gradual incremental growth, whether we are creating art, love, a community, or picnic table. Then it stands, formed as it is, subject to expansion, refinement, decay, obsolescence, and ultimately desacralizing stories invented with proclamations of innocence, victimhood, blame, and other passive-aggressive hiding places.

With spotless white gloves and a straight face, we end up at the end: our desire and effort has failed. Now what? In reality, nothing has changed; everything remains as it always was, only we wish to dispose of it so have constructed a clever court case to explain things away. We tell the distracted judge and jury our winding narrative, contrasting the innocuous conditions of the past with the wicked spotlighted event, followed by the promise of a harmless and redeemed future, bathed in our newfound wisdom and desire to teach and protect others from such an unexpected consequence.

The explanation roughly makes sense. "This was thus" -- and other sleights of hand, rearranging reality into a puppet show and soap opera, the same conditions as today but deliberately distorted, painted over, and fogged up into a dramatic justifying fiction.

But don't call any witnesses for testimony, for they have different interests and accordingly will tell different stories. A sentient jury would be overtaken alternatively by laughter and tears at the absurdly divergent realities each person presents and hopes to be believed. When testifying, truth is left far behind, orphaned, widowed, and forgotten.

If we are to have art, love, community, or a picnic table, we need to act on behalf of an idea we believe in, desiring its existence and continuity. When the will is gone, usually from self-defeat, we scramble to build alibis and cover stories. Our rationality is pretense. In reality we court witchcraft and accuse others of being witches, attributing false guilt, phony motives, and fake history so we can claim we won by burning innocents.

What essentiality was changed when we gave up on our art, love, community, or picnic table? Nothing.


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